February 2020 Newsletter

This month we celebrate the community schools movement. We acknowledge growing support and the progress of the movement from New York to California. We also celebrate local leaders of the movement and bid farewell to individuals who make the day-to-day work of community schooling possible. We invite you to learn more by joining us this month at a community school study tour.

Growing Support for Community Schools from NY to CA

A recent research report on the New York City Community Schools Initiative finds that it is possible to successfully transform traditional schools into community schools on a large scale.

Please join us at UCLA on Thursday February 6th at 11:00am as we welcome Dr. William Johnston, lead author of the report. As Dr. Johnston argues in this LA Times Op-Ed:  “For the fledgling community schools in Los Angeles, the story of community schools in New York City offers some valuable lessons.”

In California, Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2020–21 provides support to community schools. The proposed budget includes $300 million one-time community school grants to support innovative community school models that support the whole child. Grants will provide resources to implement models that focus on integrated wrap-around services including intensive health, mental health and social services, collaborative leadership and support for educators, increased family and community engagement activities like home visits and school climate surveys, and extended learning opportunities. Read more about Governor Newsom’s proposed budget here.

Mann UCLA Community School Winter Study Tour 

On Wednesday, February 12th, from 9:00am to 10:30am, the UCLA Center for Community Schooling will be hosting a Study Tour at Mann UCLA Community School. Come tour the campus and learn more about the school.  RSVP here!

Educators Honored with UCLA Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Awards

On February 1st, Queena Kim (left) and Sunanda Kushon (right)–two longstanding community school educators–received the UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Staff Award in recognition of their outstanding social justice leadership and their commitment to advancing an inclusive learning and working environment. Ms. Kim is a founding lead teacher and currently serves as Assistant Principal at the UCLA Community School. Ms. Kushon teaches math and science at Mann UCLA Community School and has served as a teacher educator for the UCLA Teacher Education Program.

“UCLA: Our Stories, Our Impact” comes to Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools 

As UCLA counts 100 years of achievement as a public institution, the university celebrates its shared commitment to the public good. UCLA: Our Stories, Our Impact is a multimedia traveling exhibit that illuminates the role of UCLA and its alumni in advancing equity and equality in the United States. The exhibit is anchored by the stories of present and former Bruins who have advanced and shaped social justice movements. Through these narratives, the project sheds light on the less known and less-recognized leaders whose paths were not easy and who come from communities and neighborhoods where access to higher education was not a given.

Professors Abel Valenzuela and Karen Hunter Quartz are currently teaching a Fiat Lux Seminar at UCLA entitled, Exploring Artivism, Social Justice & Impact of Ethnic and Labor Studies at UCLA. On February 19th and March 4th from 9:00am to 11:00am, students taking this course will lead lessons and activities that engage TK-12 students and families at the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools in exploring the themes of the exhibit. If you would like to visit the exhibit on one of these days, please contact Karen Hunter Quartz (quartz@ucla.edu).

Bidding Farewell to Anna Clark and Antonio Castillo

We are sorry to say goodbye to Anna Clark who has served as the UCLA Community School liaison since 2017. Anna was responsible for overseeing all partnership activities and programs that connect the UCLA Community School to the university. Anna also played a key role in the Center’s efforts to develop a data system to track partnership programs and services aimed to provide all students at the UCLA Community School with access to necessary supports and enrichment. We are going to miss Anna and her many contributions to our school-university partnership and the UCLA-CS community.

We also bid farewell to Antonio Castillo. As the Mann UCLA Community School’s college counselor, Antonio led the school’s college going efforts. He embodied the partnership between UCLA and Mann, with his focused dedication to his students. Antonio helped build a college going culture, strategy, and data infrastructure from the ground up that will ensure the college going practices at Mann are centered on equity. Most importantly, he built community at Mann UCLA Community School by creating a college center that made all community members feel welcome.

We wish Anna and Antonio the best as they embark on new adventures!

Rise Up for Equity: May 2020

As a local co-host of the 2020 Summit, the Center has helped prepare a set of proposals that captures the “LA Story” of community schools and that highlights the national network of University-assisted Community Schools. Proposed sessions include “The Power of One LA County,” “Emerging Perspectives on Community Schools and the Engaged University” and more.

Please mark your calendar for May 27-29, 2020 and join up to 4,000 attendees from all 50 states to learn with and from one another. Parents, youth, school and district leaders, elected officials, community organizers, researchers, policy makers, and more are all welcome!

Click here to learn more and to register for the Summit.